Speaking At West Haven High

That connection is what I hope for. It’s my sign of success.

I spoke at West Haven High School today. It was a class of meteorology students. I went as a favor to someone who’d been nice to me.

West Haven High gets a bad rap. I can’t tell you whether that’s deserved or not, but I can safely say I saw no evidence of anything remotely seeming problematic today. It is a school in a town with many working poor. The class I was in was fairly evenly divided black and white with a few Hispanics students.

I walked in fully expecting a metal detector on my way in. None. There was a non-uniformed adult on a raised kiosk watching the door and the hallway. Kids were walking around between periods as high school kids do. The vibe was nice.

The class I spoke at was a meteorology science course. I’m not sure how deep they can get in high school, but they were attentive as I delivered my presentation. That’s more than half the battle–having students pay attention. I don’t know how teachers do it day-after-day without becoming numbed to it all.

As I began I realized none of them were alive when Hurricane Gloria, a crucial first element in my talk, struck the Connecticut shoreline in 1985. Gloria is now ancient history.

I’d included my “Hippie Geoff” photo as an ice breaker. Nothing. No reaction. I was surprised and, at that moment worried about how things would progress.

As I went through my presentation I looked up to see them looking back. That connection is what I hope for. It’s my sign of success. You have no idea how many schools I’ve been to where that back-and-forth response was missing. That’s sad.

The session ended with a round of questions–some pretty good ones. I left happy.

Without sounding too sappy, I really did get a lot out of today–possibly more than the students got.

One thought on “Speaking At West Haven High”

  1. Geoff,

    Again, thank you so much for all your kind words about our students. It is so nice to hear them get credit for being good!

    Trish Robles


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